By Gulamhusein A. Abba
Note:The Israeli lobby has cells in every city and town, members of which receive talking points about current topics to use in responding to any article, letter to the editor, interview, editorial that may be published or aired that is critical of Israel. Members of the cell diligently do just that. So much misinformation is packed in these responses that, in answering those, counter responders get tied down to the issues raised therein thus preventing them from moving on to fresh topics. Thus the cells control the issues being discussed.
A case in point is an article of mine that is posted in this blog (see Israel’s ‘final solution’ to Gaza). A slightly shortened version of it was published in the News Times under the heading In the Middle East, Israel is getting away with murder. (see http://www.newstimes.com/opinion/article/By-Gulamhusein-A-Abba-Israel-s-final-solution-5661170.php )
A response to this by Mr. Bert Boyson was published by the News Times under the heading Hamas is a terrorist group using civilians (see http://www.newstimes.com/news/article/Hamas-is-a-terrorist-group-using-civilians-5698974.php )
This is a classic example of Israeli Hasbara (PR). Short. Avoids answering specific facts mentioned in my article. Very professionally crafted. Loaded with images calculated to influence readers subconsciously.
As this is the stance and language currently being taken by Israeli lobbyists/supporters, I have written this post to lay bare the tactic and serve as a sort of talking points for responding to these claims and allegations.
Mr.Boyson’s words appear in italics followed by my ‘response’.
Hamas is a terrorist group using civilians
Published 6:17 pm, Tuesday, August 19, 2014 on line edition Published Wedesday, August 20, 2014 print edition
, in his Aug. 1 Where I Stand piece, "In the Middle East, Israel getting away with murder," has shown himself to be a stout defender of Hamas, a terrorist organization that has ruled Gaza since Hamas ousted the Palestinian Authority.
*01 ANSWER: The “Terrorist Organization” label is a deliberate tool created to enable damning the organization in the eyes of a a reader without one more word more being said. Many countries have NOT named Hamas as a terrorist organization.
Hamas “ousted” PA from Gaza only after it learnt of a plot by US and Israel against Hamas by using the notorious Muhammad Dahlan. This shady deal was exposed by Vanity Fair (http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2008/04/gaza200804)
He supports their use of rockets against civilian population centers in Israel. Hamas rockets supplied by Iran and North Korea are smuggled through tunnels into Gaza and it was only a matter of time before Hamas rockets would cause major civilian casualties in Israel.
*02 ANSWER: What is supported is the right of the Palestinians to resist the illegal occupation and the illegal siege and blockade – a right recognized under international law.
There is no way for Iran or North Korea to supply rockets to Hamas. Gaza is under siege and blockade. Nothing can enter or leave Gaza. Supplies did get smuggled through tunnels. No Iranian or Korean rockets came through. None have ever been reported by Israel. Had they been used, Israel would have trumpeted the news from rooftops. Dragging in the name of Iran and Korea is a cheap ploy to damn Haamas by associating it with countries that Americans love to hate.
The tunnels from Egypt have long been blocked by Egypt. The alleged tunnels from Gaza to Israel could not possibly have been used for smuggling in rockets into Gaza!!!
Fear of Hamas rockets causing major civilian casualties in Israel is just speculation of what might happen in the future. Super “major civilian casualties” being inflicted by Israel on Gazans is a fact happening right now in the present.
Israel had to act and to their surprise they found dozens of tunnels under Gaza's border that were to be used not for smuggling but for a major Jewish New Year ground attack on villages and kibbutzim in southern Israel. Judging from past performance Hamas would have left many dead civilians in their wake, consistent with Islamic Jihad thinking
*03 ANSWER: To their “surprise”? Netanyahu said the ground troops were sent specifically to ferret out the tunnels and destroy them. Obviously Israel KNEW of the tunnels.
Bert must be having a super intelligence service of hs own to know when and where the imagined attack would take place.
What “past performance” is Bert talking about? There is not a single instance where Hamas “left many dead civilians in their wake.”
“consistent with Islamic Jihad thinking” is another scurrilous attempt to exploit the current anger and outrage against “Islamic Jihad thinking”. By linking Hamas to “Islamic Jihad thinking” he seeks to paint their struggle against the illegal Israeli occupation of their lands as being “Islamic” (vs Judaism) and in line with the murderous thinking and actions of the current misnamed “Islamic Jihadists” (misnamed because there is no Jihad involved here as laid down in Islam.
Mr. Abba seems convinced that Hamas is no longer dedicated to destroying Israel. However, their leadership still calls for the end of Israel, and rules out negotiations to achieve their aims.
*04 ANSWER: This statement is like an attorney asking an accused if he had stopped beating his wife! The question itself is a condemnation, taking it for granted that the man was previously beating his wife. Bert’s sentence is cleverly crafted, intermingling “destroying Israel” with “end of Israel”. There is a BIG difference. “Destroying Israel” stirs up images of physically obliterating Israel along with all the Jews in it. Images immediately come to mind of the Holocaust and of “never again”, and, like Pavlovs dogs, readers react with “this can never be allowed to happen. Hamas must be put out of action”. Actually Hamas, like millions of others all over the world, want to bring to an end the existence on the State of Israel, and replace it with a unified government where ALL those now living in Israel, West Bank and East Jerusalem can live together in peace and friendship under the protection of law that applies to everyone equally. There was a time when a “Two State” solution was promoted vigorously. But Israel, by its expansionist policies and expanding ‘Israelis only’ settlements in West Bank and East Jerusalem have, with their own hands, rung the death knell of the two state solution. Even US has been warning Israel that the window on the two state solution is closing. It has in fact closed and the end of Israel is inevitable.
It is true that Hamas scorns negotiations. It was created to offer Palestinians, who were fed up with ceaseless negotiations without an end to the occupation anywhere in sight, an alternative, and that alternative was a return to PLO’s original policy of RESISTENCE. Hamas remains convinced that Israel uses “negotiations” merely as a pretext to continue the occupation and grab more and more Palestinian land and build more and more Israeli settlements and Judaize more and more Palestinian Arab areas. Experience has proved Hamas right. Even the blind know what Israel is doing in the West Bank, from where no rockets fall into Israel and where the PA has been patiently and faithfully following for years the Quartet crafted Road Map of negotiations.
Only recently Iran's Ayatollah reiterated calls for Israel's destruction. Iran is the chief sponsor of Hamas terror and the U.S. and the have labeled Hamas as a terrorist group and will not have any direct talks with them.
*05 ANSWER: This is another despicable attempt to damn Hamas by association, by coupling it with a country Americans love to hate. There is no evidence of Iran being the chief sponsor of Hamas “terror”. And you cannot bomb Gaza because Iran’s Ayatollah allegedly recently reiterated calls for Israel’s destruction. Another thing. Why blame Hamas for refusing to negotiate with U.S. and Israel when according to Bert’s own admission the U.S. and Israel will not have any direct talks with them? Finally, why would Hamas want to play this game of “negotiations” when it sees that years of negotiations by Fatah has produced nothing except more loss of land, even though no rockets are being launched by Fatah towards Israel?
Israel's leadership undertook the ground assault with great trepidation since urban warfare is bound to cause significant casualties to the IDF and as we have witnessed Hamas infrastructure, launching platforms, weapon storage, and tunnel entrances have been placed in civilian locations and they urge their civilian populace to act as HUMAN SHIELDS during attacks.
*06 ANSWER: Really? If Israel was so concerned about not causing “significant casualties” it would have lifted the siege or at least started the process of lifting the siege. This was one of the terms of the last truce. But it did nothing. Even then Hamas held its fire. Only when, under the pretext of searching for the murderer of the three Israeli youngsters, Israel, without any evidence, declared that Hamas was responsible for the murders and, with that cover, broke into homes of Hamas supporters, arrested dozens of them and terrorized them in the West Bank.
As for civilians being used as human shields, there is no evidence that Hamas does so. As against this, there is video evidence of the IDF using Palestinians as human shields. Not to mention testimonies from the brave and conscientious vets of IDF who have chosen to speak out.
Bert’s accusation against Hamas is based on the allegation that Hamas weapons, including rockets etc, “have been placed in civilian locations.” Israel has imprisoned nearly 2 million people on a thin, small sliver of land. It is one of the most densely populated area in the world. ANYWHERE would be near a civil location.
Every photo of dead or injured civilians is used to demonstrate to the world the tragedy that ironically they have brought to their own PEOPLE.
*07 ANSWER: Israelis plaintively complain about rockets being launched by Hamas towards Israel and aggressively challenge anybody who questions their inhuman massacre of Gazans by asking “What would you have done?” The question should really be the other way around. What would you have done if a foreign country, who had been granted a “homeland” on your land, turned round, and instead of being grateful, imprisoned you on a small sliver of land, effected a complete blockade and effectively crippled and strangled you? All of it illegal. All of it under the plain gaze of the entire world. And no one did anything to get this illegality ended. And worse, allowed the aggressor, the culprit to make more demands to undo the wrong it has done. Demands like surrendering all arms, agreeing to be demilitarized, and recognizing the right of the aggressor’s right to have a state on your land! While it refuses to recognize your people’s right to a state on only 22% of the land that once belonged to you in entirety. And imports millions of dollars’ worth of heavy and sophisticated weaponry from the U.S. and other countries.
Claiming that Hamas itself has brought this unprecedented tragedy on its own people is like arguing that if only the murdered woman would not have resisted so violently while the murderer was trying to rape her, the murderer would not have been so enraged as to murder her. In other words she brought about her own death!
So. Hamas by resisting the illegal, strangling and crippling siege and blockade, has enraged the aggressor so much as to make the aggressor launch this inhuman attack and has thus brought about this tragedy on its own people! What could be more Orwellian?
What Bert, and Israel is saying is tht if only the Gazans had laid on their backs and meekly submitted in total to all that their occupiers did, none of this would have happened. Typical Zionist thinking. Typical example of Israeli Hasbara.